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World News

Chinese fighter jets buzz Taiwan for a second day as tensions rise

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Chinese fighter jets approached Taiwan on Thursday for a second day in a row, the island’s defence ministry said, urging China to stop “destroying regional peace” in a further ratcheting up of tension across the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has held numerous military exercises up and down its coast and near the island in recent weeks.

The defence ministry said Su-30 fighters and Y-8 transport aircrafts were among the Chinese aircraft that entered Taiwan’s air identification zone to its southwest on Thursday morning.

“The Defence Ministry once again urged the Chinese Communist Party must not to repeatedly destroy regional peace and stability,” it said, adding that the action has triggered antipathy among the people of Taiwan.

Taiwan scrambled aircraft to intercept the Chinese planes, the ministry added, saying it was able to quickly track the “enemy’s movement”.

China’s defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taiwan has repeatedly complained that China, which has not ruled out the use of force to bring the democratic island under its control, has stepped up military threats in recent months as the world tackles the coronavirus pandemic.

Beijing routinely says such exercises are not unusual and are designed to show its determination to defend its sovereignty.

Taiwan is carrying out livefire weapons tests off its southeast and eastern coast.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has warned of a rising risk of accidental conflict over in the disputed South China Sea and around Taiwan, saying communication must be maintained to cut the risk of miscalculation. [nL4N2FT09Z]

Reporting By Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry

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